Webinar on “Panel Discussion on ICT Tools for the Resilient Agriculture Education in India” organized

21st May, 2020, New Delhi

The Education Division of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi organized a Webinar on Panel Discussion on ICT Tools for the Resilient Agriculture Education in India” today.

Dr. R.C. Agrawal, Deputy Director General (Agricultural Education), ICAR & National Director, National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP), ICAR, New Delhi highlighted that the NAHEP jointly financed by the Government of India and the World Bank supports the participating Agricultural Universities and ICAR in providing more relevant and higher quality education to Agricultural Universities’ students. Dr. Agrawal outlined that since its inception in 2017, the NAHEP has awarded merit-based grants to 55 Agricultural Universities across the ICAR-AU System for financing the investments to improve the Under-Graduate and Post-Graduate learning environment. The DDG stressed on the need for NAHEP to rethink for its future activities as the exposure visits of the students and faculty are not going to happen in near future.

Dr. Anil Rai, Assistant Director General (ICT), ICAR discussed about the existing system of ICAR related to ICT and the ICAR’s future plans related to ICT.

Dr. N. Kumar, Vice-chancellor, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu briefed about the ICT activities of TNAU regarding the online exams, online classes and many other academic activities during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Dr. Kelly Millenbah, Senior Associate Dean & Director (Academic and Student Affairs), College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State, U.S.A. discussed on the MSU response to the academic continuity due to COVID-19 and the use of ICT and Remote learning across research, education and extension by the University.

Dr. Edward W. Bresnyan, Senior Agriculture Economist, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, World Bank narrated the over-aching challenges to the academic settings that have arisen due to the outbreak of the COVID-19. He also discussed about the set of principles and operational guidance that universities could apply in preparing their respective “Disaster Management” or “Academic Continuity” plans with the emphasis on the use of ICT.

Dr. Dilupa Nakandala, Associate Professor & Associate Dean (Postgraduate Studies), School of Business, Western Sydney University, Australia outlined the various options for the online classes and the response of the University - Western Sydney University to the academic activities during the Pandemic. She also underlined many other options which should be considered while shifting for the online classes and online evaluation.

The Webinar was aimed at exploring the use of ICT for increasing the resilience of the Agricultural Higher Education in the face of natural disaster, including the current pandemic, especially, how the current COVID-19 Pandemic has disrupted the academic environment in the Agricultural Universities, the national and global examples of ICT use to address these disruptions and the resilience planning for Academic continuity.

More than 200 participants from the Agricultural Universities, ICAR Institutes and ICAR Headquarters participated in the Webinar.

(Source: Education Division of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi)